Chongshan Temple, Taiyuan, Shanxi
(August 31, 2012)

(1) Chongshan Temple was built in the Tang Dynasty, but was converted to a royal memorial temple in the early Ming. In the Qing, it was downsized after a devastating fire; only a few structures remained.

The temple is located in a hutong (alley) in an old neighborhood; this is the crowded approach, made more so by the fact that today was the Ghost Festival and the temple was packed, so the vendors and beggars were out in force.

(2) The front gate; there was no way to get a shot without people!

(3) The main hall, which survived the 19th-century fire

(4) A view along the main hall's front

(5) Inside are three (count 'em!) magnificent statues of the thousand-armed Guanyin. The hall is named "Great Compassion" for this reason.

(6) The central figure; a jade Buddha has been placed in front, an obvious retrofit for those expecting a Buddha on the altar.

(7) The left-hand figure; all three were different.

(8) The temple is famous for "three treasures": the statues already seen; some sutras; and some murals. For this holiday, memorial notices are hung--so the murals are covered up, and that laywoman is actually standing on one of the sutra cases!

(9) A new side hall contains this statue of Jielan (Guanyu)...

(10) ...and this mural.

(11) A courtyard of new buildings (not even shown on Google Maps's satellite view at this date!) The people in the foreground are standing in line waiting for the free lunch. (I didn't.)

(12) Another new hall, in the northwest corner, contains...

(13) ...this very Daoist-looking dragon king.

(14) And directly across from that hall is this stage, an unusual feature in a Buddhist temple. It's almost like this was a little "Taoist corner" of the compound.

(15) On my way out to catch a bus, I ran across this guy. He was tied on a porch nearly at eye-level, making the shooting easy. He looks like an older version of my friends' dog Bobi.

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Last Updated August 21, 2019

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